Primary Life Insurance Beneficiary 4, Dr. Baden’s examinee 2,

[Sometimes, one perceives a lack of sufficient understanding to properly explain a situation. So, today, I have called on Dr. Michael M. Baden, noted medical examiner, to review the corpse of the 2014 Braves and explain the causes of this death, and the relative importance of each cause. I now turn you over to Dr. Baden, (but with parenthetical remarks by me, because, in my experience, sometimes Dr. Baden gives complicated explanations).]

The patient shows signs of infectious disease. There are visible lesions and sores. The scar of one significant lesion appears to be partly recovered (Uggla). Another is so pronounced that I wonder if the patient ignored it because of neuropathy (BJ Upton) because certainly the pain caused by such a lesion should have led to better treatment. The white blood cell count is elevated, but in a manner which suggests a strong immune system (pitching and defense).

The infectious disease is one which restricts the ability of the patient to move (lack of offense). That disease has spread throughout the body with at least some evidence of it in almost every tissue (player). Ordinarily, we would not have expected (preseason ZIPS and other projections) this disease to become so pervasive. Therefore, I am concerned about the role of the attending physicians (Wren, Fredi, Walker) as this patient’s condition deteriorated. Clearly, some of the treatment plan for this patient was inappropriate and contributed to the patient’s demise.

One potential issue in this case is that there are several life insurance beneficiaries. Therefore, my examination must take into account the extent to which any of my findings could have been influenced by the actions of any of these parties. The Washington Nationals had the largest expected payout from the patient’s death. The Pittsburgh Pirates and the Milwaukee Brewers had a lesser valued policy, contingent on their survival as to each other. Until the patient seemed very close to death, the actions of the Nationals contributed TOWARD the patient’s health. However, I will note troubling findings relating to the Nationals further in my report. Likewise, the Brewers contributed to the patient’s health particularly in his adolescence when many thought the patient would be robust and healthy throughout his life. The Pirates didn’t positively contribute, but they alone could not have caused these problems.

This corpse shows recent evidence of necrophilia. The DNA indicates that this intimate violation was caused by the primary life insurance beneficiary, the Nationals. Though it makes no sense other than as a possible delayed nervous system response, there is very minor evidence of a struggle against the aggressor.

The T cell we identify as Ervin Santana valiantly fought the disease, with quality in the start to his immune reaction (a “quality start”). The need for movement in this patient was great, but the only reflex seemingly able to create movement, known as the Freddie Freeman reflex, was restrained by bindings (ejected by umpire) and therefore unable to be involved in the outcome. In baseball terms, we would say that the Nationals got 4 before the Braves finally got 2 in the top of the 9th inning.

As my last finding, I remind one and all of the need to promptly dispose of these remains, because the stench will become more and more unbearable.

82 thoughts on “Primary Life Insurance Beneficiary 4, Dr. Baden’s examinee 2,”

  1. Can we actually now feel bad for Fredi? He’s been left by his bosses who – as Hubie Brown once said – never wore a jock in their lives – to slowly twist in the wind. Night after night, Fredi has to put on the Fredi face knowing he is watching his career end in front of him.

    But then, Fredi, Fredi, why do you keep calling for Luis Avilan? Poor Luis will never recover from the overuse of last year and he has nothing left. Maybe Fredi said, WTF, we’re already down two and this one’s over.

    Ted Turner – or some like minded crazed billionaire – would clean house. Liberty Media – looking at all those empty seats and declining TV ratings – might finally have to do something.

    Expect the Nats to be dancing in the ATL before leaving town.

  2. Smitty @ 1,

    Thanks. I will pridefully take that as a compliment rather than as an expression as to the curiousness of the collapse.

  3. @6

    I thought the same until I read the Bowman article. I think there may be some house cleaning. Wren, Fredi and most of the coaching staff are in trouble.

    I don’t think something like that would come out of Bowman (who is not as big of a front office mouth piece as DOB) unless there was something to it.

    I bet the changes come quickly.

  4. I have detected some passive-aggression in Fredi when it comes to the roster he has to field. His comment on the James Russell acquisition, I thought, was telling. Maybe he has somehow ingratiated/insulated himself enough to survive Wren’s firing. But maybe not…

    I can’t lie, I’m excited to see how the impending bloodletting is gonna go down.

    I’ve got two tickets to a midnight execution
    We’ll hitchhike our way from Odessa to Houston
    And when they turn on the chair, something’s added to the air…

  5. Thank you for your opinion, Dr. Baden. My own analysis suggests a sort of lapse in the nervous system as its signals move from the brain to the extremes–the electrical pulses that beget movement are interrupted just before the movement occurs. What do you make of that?

  6. Cliff, funny funny stuff.

    It’s not like Bowman doesn’t just make shit up. If DOB had written that, then …..

    I am betting Wren survives. He has done more good than harm. Fredi may be fired but, going out on a limb here, I don’t think he will.

  7. The stadium was 90% empty last night. They are all fired.

    And major kudos for working necrophilia into the recap. That was pure perfection.

  8. More good than harm? He has successfully turned us into a lower-market team by tying up scarce assets that the Braves simply cannot afford and putting a product on the field that not only is not interesting but is a must to avoid because the putrid attitude that somehow or other is accompanying wretched performance.

    Keeping Wren would simply be a middle-finger to the fans. Time for improvement. Time for widespread change.

  9. Wren, Fredi, most of the coaching staff and some minor league development guys. That’s not totally an overhaul, but significant and non panicky

  10. So, the Braves are .500 right now (75-75). Will they finish above .500, under .500 or exactly .500?

    Sure it’s easy to say “under” now with how the Braves are currently playing, but don’t put it past them to play well in the final few games after they’re officially eliminated, just to piss us off.

  11. I’m wanting to see a nearly all Gwinnett lineup from this point. None of our pitchers that we are counting on next year should pitch. Heyward and Justin and Freeman can go ahead and start their vacations (or go on a mission to find out where Gattis is being confined in exile). Simmons and CJ can play because they need all the ABs they can get – maybe something will click.

  12. Edward at 11,

    (I have contacted Dr. Baden for his insight)

    A correct observation. The infection stopped the ability of the neurons to fire, thus creating an almost total paralysis. Briefly, the Justin Upton reflex functioned, like the Freddie Freeman reflex.

  13. What is up with the Braves and 25-year deals?

    Is there anything more fluid than the value of promotional properties (in this case, naming rights)?

    Ten years would have been the smarter play, imo – especially with the prospect (perhaps it’s just hope) that new ownership will be riding to our rescue sometime soon and that’s a bargaining chip that now has a fixed price.

    This deal looks good right now, but then, so did the tv deal all those years ago.

  14. At the beginning of the year I said we would be lucky to be a 500 team based on our pitching injuries. Wren actually did a great job of addressing our pitching needs and that has not been the problem.

    I didn’t think Fredi would be fired for a 500 season based on what he had to work with. Now I’m not so sure. Underperforming in such a huge way in the hitting area really points to the need for major changes. Unless we make blockbuster trades to upgrade our offense I see this as a major rebuilding project. It may be best accomplished by new leadership. Unfortunately we’re financially hindered because of the horrible contracts for Uggla and BJ and blockbuster deals don’t seem likely.

  15. @14, the ownership has turned us into a lower-market team, not the management. We’re 10th in the NL and 17th in MLB, just behind the Rockies. There are only five National League teams with lower salaries than ours: the Padres, Mets, Pirates, Cubs, and Marlins, and all but the Pirates are going to miss the playoffs.

  16. Tom Tango’s annual fan scouting report is up. I’ve already filled mine out. (Didn’t put anything at all for Gosselin, but I felt confident about most of the rest of the team.)

    It’s fun. And it everyone’s chance to pile onto Justin Upton’s bad hands, as well as to–I hope–correct the myth that Evan Gattis is not a good catcher at all. He is a good base-stealer-thrower-outer, and he puts a lot of throws right on the bag.

  17. SunTrust Park? Gee, a bank. Typical, but certainly retch-worthy.

    Hope they get their money’s worth & we can spend a little extra on a 3rd starter or something, but I’ll try never to use that handle again.

  18. @29 I’m only halfway through it, but I wanted to pause to reflect on the phrase “built like a Soviet apartment block” as a description of Heyward’s physique. I love it.

  19. And now that I’ve read the whole thing, the phrase “cosmetic difference” stands out as the best idea in the piece. Still I think it’d be better if he amended it to “cosmetic dissonance,” which precisely describes the fan perspective on Jason Heyward.

    (“tentpole slugger” is also a very good turn of phrase. Who is this Baumann?)

  20. @29 Thanks for the link. The author sums up my opinion exactly.

    Edward? -sigh- once again into the WAR explanation. :)

    The name of the new Stadium is Sun Trust Park? I’m disappointed. I was hoping for Aaron Field or Henry Aaron Stadium. We could have called it the Hammer.

  21. I think I’ll wait for an outright affront before I launch into my spiel again. After all, it was only yesterday that I clogged up the broadband with it.

  22. If “SunTrust* Park” nets them money to buy Tomas, I’ll tattoo the SunTrust* logo on my left ass cheek.

    *one word.

  23. Sam…no one is asking you to do that.

    Once again, Heyward failed to drive himself in from 3rd base with no one out, the bum.

  24. @34 36 – God Dang Judy!

    @35 – Just that guy or any good hitter? BTW you don’t have to show me, I’ll take your word for it. You know that the Sun Trust dough is probably just enough to pay for a reserve infielder.

  25. And I’ll extend the offer to Hanley Ramirez. But not Melky. For Melky, I might get a hamburger tatt. But I’d fear he might try to eat it.

    And if such a thing were to occur, I would post it as an image with every post I submit.

  26. SunTrust adds 8 mill, but presumably not before 2017.

    MLB’s new contracts added 25 to 35 million, effective this year, “but much of that is not available.”

    New ball park won’t net much extra and the extra it nets will show off the books (the surplus value will be in the percentage rents in the real estate development on bars and restaurants and hotels).

    So, as Alex pointed out earlier, ownership has us strapped.

    One POTENTIAL shining star could be if ownership were to understand how much difference in value this franchise has in the Atlanta market if it is a winner, nto an also ran, and certainly not a loser. Because in both net revenue and in eventual franchise resale value, my late uncle had a phrase for it.

    “It’s always cheaper in the long run if you go first class.”

  27. 11 home runs. That’s all. 11 home runs. Same number as the centerfielder. Sorry, that’s not elite.

  28. @39 – I have often invited Melky to bite my ass, but if he bites yours I would find that satisfactory.

  29. As a team we only have 37 HRs in 55 games since the break. For a team seemingly built around HRs, that is dreadful.

  30. 2013 HRs: 1st in NL
    2014 HRs: 10th in NL

    2013 BBs: 2nd in NL
    2014 BBs: 6th in NL

    2013 Runs: 4th in NL
    2014 Runs: 14th in NL

    2013 OBP: 6th in NL
    2014 OBP: 9th in NL

    2013 SlgP: 2nd in NL
    2014 SlgP: 12th in NL

    2013 OPS: 3rd in NL
    2014 OPS: 11th in NL

  31. Is SLG more important (relative to OBP) in the new deadball era than it was in the steroid era? The 2014 Atlanta Braves would be a starting point for this hypothesis…

    Or maybe it’s just a Braves thing. I think our walk rate is still decent because other teams can pitch around Freeman and Justin with very little fear of anyone else hurting them.

  32. With 13 games to go, Freeman & Justin have walked the exact same amount (141) as they did all last year.

    Freeman’s walks are up (83 to 66), while Justin’s are down (75 to 58).

  33. We also don’t have much team speed, so SLG is important when trying to get slow-asses around the bases. I can’t remember ever watching so many innings where three hits produced zero runs.

  34. As runs scored decreases, the value of SLG increases. This is known since the early days. Like, pre-Bill James early days. In the offense-happy heyday of the 1990s-2000s, the actual ratio for OBP to SLG was something like 1.0 to 1.4. That is to say, a point of OBP was worth 1.4 points of SLG. As runs in general decline, that ratio declines. I haven’t seen new numbers, but I’d say we’re almost certainly down to 1.0 :: 1.2 and falling. We’d need to hit mid 60s levels of offensive hell before we approach 1::1 ratios.

  35. Also, I’ve decided that “strep throat” actually means “desperately trying to hide the back problems until we can trade him this winter.”

  36. If you liked last night’s lineup, you’re in luck because here we go again! BJ might be one of the better hitters in this bunch. My goodness if we run with something anywhere close to this next season…don’t even want to think about it.

  37. Am I alone in actively wanting us to lose now for a better draft pick? And maybe some rampant FO changes?

  38. I’m ambivalent about the move to the new stadium, but I admit I might have gotten my hopes up when I saw the original concept renderings they released months ago. The new ones released today are completely and totally underwhelming.

    I want the good people of Cobb County to fund something magnificent that will make us the envy of the baseball world. If it ends up looking like the new drawings then…meh.

  39. @53

    You’re not alone. I don’t want this organization to be deluded into thinking this team is more than it actually is. The magic number is 78 — that ensures the second-worst season since 1991 (only 2008 was worse, much of which could be attributed to pitching injuries: Hudson, Smoltz, Soriano, Moylan, Glavine, James).

    The empty seats and declining TV ratings speak louder than anything else. I know I don’t want to watch B.J. Upton bitch about the strike zone and lollygag to first, Chris Johnson ground into double plays, Andrelton Simmons swing so hard he falls out of his shoes, and guys generally try to hack their way out of slumps. There have been some loathsome players on this club (John Rocker, among many others), but this bunch seems quite unembraceable. I can only speak with accuracy of my social circle, but our tiny corner of the fan base does not trust management — dugout and above — to fix it.

    There is but one unpardonable sin in the eyes of any team’s ownership: wasting said ownership’s money. That is why Wren is in serious trouble. The investment in Ervin Santana exacerbates matters (although he delivered). Liberty’s upper management, from people I know who work there, has a keen understanding of cost/benefit. That’s why it signed off on the budget increase for Santana; it trusted the Atlanta management in believing this team was close. $14.1 million for 2.8 WAR is a solid investment in a vacuum; $14.1 million for the difference between 72-78 and 75-75 is not. This doesn’t even factor in the loss of revenue to attendance and TV audience. All this has some in the upper corridors of Liberty furious. It’s not the losing; it’s the perception of standing outside, holding money in the air on a windy day and letting it go.


    It’s almost like they wanted to take Turner Field, cover more upper deck seats with an overhang, and then move the whole contraption to CFC. Even the video board looks roughly the same size (when I think it is only fair to expect the board in 2017 to be the biggest in MLB). Some of the early renderings were sleek and modern, and I liked the potential with the water features. This just looks like the same old faux-retro stuff. If they think having a bunch of “A” logos around the park will make it unique, the entire lot of architects needs to be on the same unemployment line with whoever ends up as the scapegoats for this wretched season.

  40. Regardless of my feelings about the Cobb move, I was interested in the earliest renderings because it seemed like they were going someplace architecturally interesting with the concept. Of course it would be prefab, flash-frozen and deep-fried architecture, but it would be a step away from the faux-retro stuff.

    These new renderings, though? Basically: “Hey, Marietta! Ya like the Ted and want one of your own without having to be near Mechanicsville? Then here’s New Ted!” Right down to the square scoreboard, which is odd by recent technological standards.

    The very same “let’s get one of those for our very own!” cultural instinct that gave the world the Cobb Energy Centre (which is super classy, cuz it’s “Centre” instead of “Center,” you see). Thoroughly unimpressed. Once again.

  41. Also, I have enjoyed the hacks and flacks on the tweets today and hope very much the organization has thrown a couple bucks their way. “SunTrust Park! Awesome name! So excited!” Right.

  42. @56/myself
    Or perhaps we are living the the prequel to The Walking Dead. (The end boss is White Bear; he wins).

  43. I like the idea of Gattis being on a secret mission and Fredi and DOB can’t really talk about it without risking operational security.

    We’re all on a need-to-know basis. Up to and until they shitcan all of them, then maybe someone will tell the real story.

  44. I know Doumit has been pretty awful this year, but good for him on his role in those new Old Spice ads.

  45. I hope part of the agreement between the Braves and SunTrust is that SunTrust employees are not allowed to wear those shirts in mass when the Mets are in town.

    I may be in the minority here, but I like the renderings the Braves released today MUCH better than I liked the older ones. I thought the initial renderings were pretty ugly (that roof was awful), but I thought some of the ones today are gorgeous. I guess the park will look a little like Turner Field, but I think Turner is a nice ballpark, so I don’t mind that.

  46. Yeah, the park may be a cozier Turner Park, but I like it. Also agree that ugly orange tees should be banned from civilized society.

  47. @57

    The Cobb Energy Centre is an anodyne marvel. You can be situated in the lobby and have no sense whatsoever that a show is happening, and the lobby is almost half the interior.

  48. Natspo(s) delenda est, but it will have to be some other equally despicable team to do so, in October.

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